Hanger Bay of Imperial Star Destroyer Capitulation
Fel could only watch in horror as the monstrous beast shrieked at the bulk of the troopers suppressing the other beasts. Luminous green globules emanated from its radiant mouth alongside the deafening roar in a rough and random cone pattern like an oversized shotgun. When the projectiles hit cover they would splatter and blow apart weak cover or distort and melt strong cover, leaving it glowing with residual heat. Where they hit soldiers they never even got a chance to scream as they were thrown back in molten and burning pieces. In an instant 13 men were dead and 3 were incapacitated with severe burns and deformed armour from near misses and "shrapnel".
To make matters worse the formerly suppressed beasts could now expose themselves and return the favour.
"Throw detonators and fall back! Ordered retreat!" Fel called out as the threw his last detonator over the catwalk railing.
As Fel retreated he heard a crescendo of explosion punctuated by a the odd shriek, giving hope of heavy enemy casualties. Then Fel turned to provide more cover and noticed several dead smaller beasts including one of the intermediates.
And the giant beast lumbering towards the squad with alarming speed battering its way through all but the wrecked AT-ATs along with dozens of the small and intermediate forms.
Turning to run faster he heard the whizzing sound of the strange vine weapons below him. The catwalk shuddered as they impacted the floor approximately 40 feet in front of his position. The vines quickly expanded and entangled the support pillars which groaned under the stress. Before Fel could react the giant beast roared again and the floor of the catwalk near the compromised supports suddenly glowed white hot before patchy holes opened, a trooper falling as a green mass impacted his back. Too late Fel realised they enemy planned to take the catwalk down.
With a loud groan the tortured metal gave way as the catwalk abruptly lurched downward at the point of failure. Fortunately for the troopers the catwalk held at the opposite end resulting in a steep ramp that spilled the troopers out across the hanger floor and temporarily blocking the oncoming forces from finishing off the troopers as they collected themselves.
A report sounded in Fel's comms but he ignored it as he prioritised getting what was left of his squad to the armoury about a hundred meters away. He could only pray that a shock trooper team or at the very least a MiniMag would be present.
As the men rounded a smashed Tie bomber a rhythmic thumping caught their attention. Rounding more wreckage a pair of AT-STs lumbered into view.
"Squad, take positions and cover those walkers" Fel Called out before keying in the comms. "Walkers, enemy is advancing . They have some sort of entangling weapons so try not to expose your legs. Also be careful of the big one.
"Roger, lets shred these bugs"
The loud whine of the repeating blaster filled the hanger as the AT-STs peeked over the former TIE bomber and lay down a carpet of fire. Impacts threw the smaller creatures back several meters and thankfully even the intermediates seemed unable to endure fire from the vehicle mounted weaponry as they quickly went to ground. Sporadic fire scratched and dented the front armour of the walker but thankfully did no severe damage. Even a vine shot failed to to any lasting damage as it encased and covered the upper corner before sloughing off momentarily. Using the breathing room Fel quickly keyed in to the Command frequency.
"This is Squad commander Fel. We've met up with the ST's near armoury G3. We have the infantry suppressed but they've got some sort of living tank down here that shrugged off everything we have. We need a Shock Trooper squad down here."
"Roger. STS alpha 23 is nearest. They should reach the armoury in a minute.
"Understood." Fel responded
"Um this is ST-091 what do you mean by living tank?" one of the Walker crewmen replied.
"What do you mean? the big hulking thing the size of a bloody tank that spits green projectiles. What else could i be referring to?" Then Fel noticed he hadn't heard the beast for some time now, a quick peek towards the entrenched creatures showed an absence of giant monsters. "Shit! Squad, comms, anyone seen the big one on camera or something?"
Command replied. "Uh yeah, it wandered out of frame once the ST-s started shooting a moment ago. Went towards that wrecked Lambda."
Fel looked to the Lambda in question noting it was disturbingly close to an AT-AT that led close to the firing position of the AT-STs. Fel was instantly reminded of standard firefight doctrine and recognised what was going on "STs, get out of there its flank-"
A sudden shearing sound drowned out the warning as the beast tore through the troop compartment of the AT-AT and emerged meters from the two walkers. One of the smaller walkers turned and Fel heard cursing in his comms as it opened up on the giant beast with its blaster. The beast ignored this as the glow of it's mouth got brighter. Fel quickly ran for more cover as the beast blasted the AT-ST with it's roar attack. The metal glowed white hot and distorted inwards as the blaster fire stopped. The second ST began to backpedal away from the beast as fast as it could as it advanced on the incapacitated vehicle and slammed it to the ground The impact created a large explosion that burned but did not overly hamper the beast as it sought its prey. Turning to the surviving AT-ST it suddenly broke into a mad dash towards the machine. As it approached it's four claws rose high and it speared them towards the vehicle.
The blades tore through the armour like tinfoil, penetrating the cockpit on the gunner side and undoubtedly killing him. Then the mass of the beast forced the machine to sprawl to the left on the hanger floor. From there it spread the hull apart with its blades before ducking its head into the wreckage. When it rose Fel saw the driver in the beasts massive maw. His feeble flailing accounted for nothing as the beast threw him to the ground and speared three times him with its massive limbs leaving not but a red smear and chunks of flesh. With the machines destroyed Fel saw two of the intermediates return to their inexorable advance.
The beast suddenly turned towards the squad and began advancing again.
"Come on! lure this thing near the armoury the STs will deal with it!" fel called as he let a burst of fire strike the beasts head. it did no damage but grabbed the creatures attention as it turned and began advancing on the squad commander. Lookign ahead he could see the hallway that led to the armoury to his immediate relief he saw a small group of troopers with shoulder mounter Minimags enter the hanger. After glancing at the monster briefly they immediately took aim with their weapons. With a dull thud the portable proton torpedos streaked towards the giant beast. Three of them struck the beast upper shoulder though the remaining two streaked over massive target as it stumbled. One arm now hung loosely and the plating near the shoulder had fragmented and mixed with mushed flesh and bone shards in the shoulder. As it regained its footing it abruptly turned to the new threat and prepared to roar again.
Before it could attack a rocket slammed into its armoured head and sent the beast reeling and letting off a distinctly less healthy sounding screecj. It hunched down using its three remaining scythes to support its bulk as it regained its senses, a large crater present in its head exposing skull and inflamed brain tissue.
"What the fuck does it take to kill this thing" one of the shock troopers muttered as he fired another rocket at the beasts head. This one impacted the previous wound and the right half of the head simply ceased to exist. With a massive lurch the beast toppled forwards and lay still, the green glow from it's mouth slowly dimming out of existance.
"Sir we've just taken out the rest of the creatures in the hanger. Seems secure." One of Fel's troopers responded.
"Understood Trooper, what are our casualties?" Fel asked.
"We lost 6 men in our squad in the hanger. I haven't checked but I assume total or near total losses for the other squad where that big thing emerged."
"Understood." Fel proceeded to relay the information to Command.
"Excellent work trooper. Your squad was engaged with the last, and due in no small part to that massive beast serious, incursion. Disregard the kill team orders. You and any sufficiently healthy troopers are to return for a full debrief.
Fel sighed with relief. A full debrief while aggravating usually proceeded an extended rest period. The pain in the ass debrief would be totally worth the extra time to nurse the inevitable hangover from the Corellian brandy he has in his quarters. Especially following such a clusterfuck of a mission
1 Hour later - Officers briefing room of Capitualtion
"Well this was a total Clusterfuck of an engagement" Legion commander Artea Demming cursed to her fellow officers in the briefing. "I just got the last report from Acting Platoon Commander Shishak. In total the 782nd lost almost three hundred troopers. Though there was a large amount of guesswork involved in estimating enemy casualties the current total for enemy forces consisted of between 200 and 300 but the vast majority of those were the gaunt little hound analogues, with only approximately 30 bodies from what seemed to be the soldier or humanoid variant and the living tank that tore the hanger to shreds. Not a single enemy had been taken alive as even in death they did their best to take as many soldiers down as they could. All we could get were a bunch of very mangled corpses, troop reports, and a staggering amount of camera footage while the bodies were preserved for scientific analysis." The Legate concluded.
General Tagge nodded approvingly "Understood legate. Give those men a good rest but have the remaining troopers on high alert. Increase the security patrols as much as possible is case we missed something. Captain Pylott, any news on the losses in the hanger?
Pylott, a stooped older man sighed heavily. "While the enemy infantry didn't to much overall damage those boarding craft and plasma shots wiped out most of the machines aft of Armory F. We're still calcualting lighter machinery losses but I can confirm a loss of 12 AT-ATs, 9 TIE Bombers, 6 Troop transports, and 5 Lambdas in terms of significant material losses"
Tagge pinched the bridge of his nose in exacerbation. In addition to a mangled fleet and no affect on the rebels now they had lost significant ground forces without even making orbit of the intended planet. Tarkin was not going to be pleased.
Fortunately damage control had reported that they had finally repaired much of the significant systems, though they had adamantly refused to work without guards after the first few teams had been wiped out once their fates became clear.
"In the mean time lets see what these beasts have been up to." tagge stated as he keyed the holo dosplay on the table. Suddenly Dantooine came into stark focus on the projector. The strange fleet had clustered heavily over the southern ocean through a few vessels appeared to be acting as guards circling at an extended distance. though not highly visible from the camera from this range isolated blips and pixels suggested a massive force landing planetside. There were other significant changes near the fleets chosen orbit site. The ocean had a mild, nearly imperceptible greenish tint to it and forests seem to have been cleared from around the shoreline.
"Looks like some sort of landing zone. Probably to secure the area. maybe they have some sort of important resource there they want to extract?" Legate Demming Mused.
"Maybe but it doesn't make much sense." Tagge Muttered as he drew up an old survey of Dantooine. They picked the most overgrown section of the planet. Perhaps that's where the Rebel base might have been and they were trying to pacify the planet? but why would they land troops if they could just blast it from orbit, they didn't even try communicating with us.
"Could be they've bought whatever bullshit the rebels said about us and they're reinforcing them. Demming mused."
"Perhaps. Either way we need to inform Tarkin once we return to realspace." Tagge sighed trying to figure out how to explain this incident.